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ABC to broadcast Super Bowl in HDTV

ABC Television Network president Alex Wallau announced that the most-watched and highest-profile sporting events of the year, including the Super Bowl, games of the National Basketball Association finals and the Stanley Cup, will be broadcast in HDTV on ABC this season. In addition ABC announced that it will broadcast the 2003-2004 season of "Monday Night Football" in HDTV.

"Live sporting events provide the best platform to showcase the dramatic benefits of high definition television," said Mr. Wallau. "We're delighted to broadcast these sporting events in HDTV, including the most-watched television event of the year, the Super Bowl."

ABC currently broadcasts the majority of its primetime schedule, including all of its scripted dramas, comedies and theatrical movies, in HDTV.

ABC was the first major network to broadcast in HDTV, beginning in November 1998, and it is the only major broadcast network currently airing its HD programming in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound. All of ABC's programs will use 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format.

In September 2001 ABC made a major commitment to HDTV programming when it began broadcasting the majority of its schedule in HDTV, including all of its scripted primetime comedy and drama series, as well as all theatrical movies. For the 2001-02 broadcast season, ABC broadcast more than 260 hours of HDTV programming, and the Network plans to broadcast even more hours in HD this season.

ABC began broadcasting high-definition television, including Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound, beginning on November 1, 1998, with the theatrical presentation of "The Wonderful World of Disney: 101 Dalmatians." Since then ABC has broadcast many other theatricals in HDTV, as well as numerous sporting events. Those include the first live, regularly scheduled HDTV sporting event in primetime, the 1999-2000 season of "Monday Night Football." ABC has also broadcast "Super Bowl XXXIV" and the "2000 National Hockey League All-Star Game" in HDTV. Currently 64 of ABC's owned and affiliated stations are broadcasting digital TV, covering 63% of the nation, with 48 of those stations broadcasting in HDTV.

ABC will air Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26, 2003, from San Diego, Calif. The NBA finals are scheduled for June 4-18, 2003, and the Stanley Cup for May 31-June 9, 2003. Dick Buffinton will produce and Steve Beim will direct the HDTV feed of Super Bowl XXXVII on ABC Sports.

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